China: GM sees rising performance in March image

Even as concerns surrounding the Chinese economy and auto market are still mounting, General Motors, the third largest automaker in the world enjoyed a brisk rise in sales last month.

Analysts and industry experts have forecasted the Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, to rise at its slowest pace since 1990 this year, with the auto market dampening its increases as well – after years of double-digit growth. GM kept its deliveries for March at the higher spectrum of a single-digit increase, rising a healthy 8 percent in March to a record- high for the month at 338,350 autos. The US automaker has eleven joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign companies and a workforce of more than 58,000 people in the country. SAIC-GM-Wuling and Cadillac posted their best monthly sales on record – with the luxury brand skyrocketing at least 76 percent year-over-year. Both Shanghai GM and Chevrolet topped the charts for their best March result yet.

Shanghai GM’s local deliveries increased 3.9 percent and SAIC-GM-Wuling’s sales jumped 16.9 percent; while Cadillac saw deliveries of 9,197 vehicles last month. The demand for the premium brand was buoyed by increased sales of the ATS-L and ATS models, which tallied 3,593 units. Baojun, the local brand established by GM to cater for Chinese tastes, increased sales by 599.8 percent from the same period a year ago to 33,659 autos, with the Baojun 730 MPV totaling 30,008 units. Overall, the US carmaker is still not posting strong enough increases to catch up to the foreign auto market leader in China – the Volkswagen Group, with the two automakers locked in an all out war to control the largest auto market of the planet and in turn secure the top position in the world, currently held by Japan’s Toyota Motor.